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Honey-sweetened scones loaded with dried apricots, perfect for breakfast or your next brunch.

Honey Apricot Scones - The Wimpy Vegetarian

I went to a honey tasting last week, and what an eye-opener. I knew there were different types, of course, with no less than three shelves at my local grocery store dedicated to the voluptuous nectar. But I confess I rarely have more than one or two different honeys in my cabinet at any given time (and really saw no reason to have more), and thought the differences between, say, Orange Blossom Honey and Star Thistle Honey were mostly nuance and marketing. Wrong.

When we arrived, the table was set up with a paper plate at each of ten seats. Small bowls filled with little plastic spoons scattered around the table, along with pitchers of water and plates of crackers and apple slices to cleanse our palates between tastings. The tasting was organized and led by Marie Simmons, an award-winning, prolific cookbook author who is at work on a new cookbook, A Taste of Honey, that will share honey recipes, folklore, and pairing recommendations. It’s due out in spring 2013, so keep your eyes out for it. As a special bonus that evening, one of the other guests keeps some hives, and brought some fresh honeycomb to share with the group. In all, we sampled 16 different honeys before stopping for dinner, but Marie was generously prepared to have us sample another 13. So much succulence, so little time.

If you decide to do something like this yourself, here are some tips that Marie shared with us:

  • As with wine, start with light-colored honeys and work your way up to the darker ones.
  • Examine the color and clarity of the honey first; breathe it in, and evaluate its scent; check the viscosity with your little spoon; and finally taste it. To taste it, place a small amount on the front of your tongue and allow it to melt across your mouth, and close your eyes as you focus your entire attention on the flavors that show up both initially, and after 15 – 20 seconds. Do the flavors linger, morph into something new, or quickly taper to nothing? Is it floral, or is it savory? Is it buttery, crisp, citrusy, or spicy?
  • We passed the honey jars around, one at a time, and discussed each one before moving onto the next. It slows down the tasting, but otherwise I think it would quickly become a blur.
Honey Apricot Scones Single 400: The Wimpy Vegetarian

Some tips in buying honey:

  • You generally get what you pay for. Some less expensive honeys are cut with corn syrup to reduce their cost.
  • Buy raw honey, not pasteurized. Pasteurizing is a heat process that helps to prevent crystallization of the honey on the supermarket shelves. But the heat processing damages the enzymes that are good for you, and can affect the flavor of the honey. If your honey crystallizes, just place it in a bowl of hot water for a while, or nuke it on a very low setting.
  • Darker honey asserts a much stronger taste, with molasses, butterscotch, or caramel tones; pale golden honeys were generally more floral, citrusy, or spicy.
  • Although I generally try to buy local honeys, the ones we tried from Sicily offered greater complexity in flavor, and were just delicious.

Apricot Honey Scones

     by Susan Pridmore

Ingredients (Makes 6 scones)

  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (I used Enduring Sun’s Larissa sun-dried apricots)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (10 oz) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (I used Gibson’s Orange Blossom)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • turbinado sugar

Instructions

Place the dried apricots into a bowl. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, and pour it over the apricots. Cover the bowl in plastic to seal the heat in. Let sit for 30 minutes to soften. Drain, and dice the apricots into 1/4″ pieces. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Pulse a few times to distribute the baking powder and soda in the flour.

Slice the butter into 1/4″ pieces and add to the bowl of the processor all at once. Pulse 10-12 times until the butter is the broken up to the size of little peas. Empty into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, orange zest, buttermilk, and egg. Pour into the bowl containing the flour mixture, and fold in using a large spatula until it’s completely incorporated into a dough.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead a couple times with floured hands and shape into a circle, roughly 9″ in diameter. Lightly oil the surface of a chef’s knife and slice the dough into 6 triangular “pie slices”. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle liberally with raw or turbinado sugar. If you don’t have turbinado, you can substitute granular sugar or omit.

Bake for 15 – 17 minutes.

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36 Responses to “Honey Apricot Scones” Subscribe

  1. Lynda - TasteFood April 22, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Honey tasting! Sign me up. These scones sound delicious.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 22, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      Thanks so much, Lynda! Marie’s honey tasting at her home was such a treat.

  2. LiztheChef April 22, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    A honey tasting?! I love the sound of that…I need to splurge more on local honey sold at our markets here. I want to make scones too…

  3. Kelsey @ K&K Test Kitchen April 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    These scones sound lovely! And a honey tasting, oh my, what a treat that would be! Thanks for sharing the honey tips with us.

  4. Suzanne April 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    A honey tasting, how cool, I always learn so much from your posts. The scones sound so wonderful and I would love a honey tasting if there ever is one here in NYC! So interesting that the honey from Sicily was so much better than the others.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      The whole tasting was such an eye-opener for me. I had no clue that honey could taste like molasses, and had never tried honey from Sicily. There was even a honey that tasted a bit like a washed rind cheese of all things.

  5. Natalie April 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    I am definitely going to try these. And a honey tasting sounds great. I’m collecting honeys from around the world. I have some from Lithuania (really good!) Cuba, and Oaxaca, and some different ones from my beekeeping friends. Amazing how different they all taste. I would love to have a honey-tasting party one day.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      Before this tasting party, I had never even considered buying honey from different countries, or even different areas of this country. What a mistake that’s been. You are so right – it is truly amazing how different they all taste. There were a few that had my eyes been closed, I would have been hard pressed to guess they were honey. You should definitely have a honey-tasting party with your beekeeping friends!!

  6. Natalie April 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Btw, I tried soybean honey at our fall beekeeping meeting and I thought it was REVOLTING. Like fetid feet!!! I am so glad my bees stay away from soybeans.

    Our honey is raw and unpasteurized. I have a lot of mint in my garden and around the farm, and some of my fellow beekeepers said they can taste it in my first crop of honey from last year. I think I can too. Bees are amazing.

    Oh, and I have Fairyduster honey from Arizona too. Okay, I’ll shut up now. When I get going on bees I can’t stop.

    I will watch out for Marie’s cookbook, too. :)

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      Soybean honey??!!! How fascinating. I will steer clear of that one if I run into it LOL. I love the idea that the mint in your garden gets infused in the flavor of your honey. Bees are amazing for sure. And now you’ve got me looking up Fairyduster honey – I love the name! I’m so glad you stopped by so we could share some honey connecting!!!

  7. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) April 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Such pretty and sophisticated scones!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 9:57 am #

      Thanks so much Kayle – and thanks for stopping by. Our FB’ing with the group yesterday was certainly interesting :-)

  8. Choc Chip Uru April 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Scones are everywhere these days – fantastic right? I posted some up only yesterday :P
    Love this delicious version of yours – a must try!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 10:09 am #

      I just went to your site and LOVED it. I love the fun way you express yourself and you had some great, great tips for making scones. Thanks for stopping by – I’m def making yours too :-)

  9. Norma Chang April 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Apricot and honey in a scone, great combo, and tasty too.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      Apricot and honey were definitely born to be together. Thanks so much for stopping by, Norma!

  10. Ms. T April 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Gorgeous scones! I love the idea of apricots and honey.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      Thanks Tiffany!! I can’t wait to try them with fresh apricots, but I have to say they were really wonderful with the dried apricots too.

  11. Cynthia April 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    I was looking forward to reading about your honey tasting. You did an outstanding job of distilling what was clearly an abundance of information. I had no idea cheaper honeys contained corn syrup! Honey is one of my favorite flavors, and I’m looking forward to working up to some of the darker ones. Honey and apricots – fantastic! Thank you so much.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      There was an abundance of information – Marie did such a wonderful job of setting it all up for us. I’ve decided to add some honey to my cabinet now that I know there’s such a range in flavor. And they last forever!

  12. Juls (Pepper and Sherry) April 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    What an interesting post! I’d love to do a honey tasting – I didn’t even know there was such a thing! Thank you for telling us what you learnt from it and sharing a lovely recipe.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      Thanks Juls! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’m in a group that gets together every 2 months to taste something. Recently we did plain, full fat yogurts, and red wine vinegars that we tasted by sucking them through a sugar cube. Really, really fun.

  13. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 23, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    A honey tasting? How exciting. I didn’t even know that that many kinds of honeys existed! I will definitely have to scope out a tasting in my area. It sounds like such an experience.

    Btw loving these scones. I have so many apricots to use up so this is perfect!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks Chung-Ah!! It was really a lot of fun – I am now going to start adding honeys to my cabinet now. I’m particularly going to be on the lookout for dark ones. It’s always so fun to learn new things about something that’s been under your nose the whole time.

  14. Me And My Sweets April 23, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    These scones look both pretty and delicious. Great idea with honey, I’ve never tried. But you got me curios:-)

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 10:18 am #

      Thanks! Play around with different honeys to see which ones you might want to use, but a floral, citrus or spicy one would work well here. Thanks for stopping by – I hope you have a chance to try them!

  15. Kristina April 23, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    Looks like we were both thinking the same thing this week with baking scones :) I love the flavor of yours! Honey apricot sounds like such a gorgeous combination!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      We were totally on the same wave length, Kristina! I loved yours too. Scones are such a wonderful way to celebrate spring I think.

  16. Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) April 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    i love the combination of flavors in this scone! sounds super yummy! and now i’ll keep my eye out for different honeys to try – i honestly thought they were sorta all the same

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      So did I!! I’m glad I’m not the only one to think that. I can’t wait to add to my tiny collection now. Thanks for stopping by!!

  17. Bloggy April 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    This recipe is so tasty it makes my mouth water. Honey and apricot and deadly combination. Im loving it.

  18. Erika December 4, 2012 at 6:44 am #

    How interesting! Thanks for the tips about honey. I was drawn to this post because of the beautiful photos of the scones (which I’ve been craving!) but I loved learning more about honey. Next on my list: honey tasting!
    Erika recently posted..Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake + Meeting Deb of Smitten KitchenMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 4, 2012 at 8:36 am #

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed this – the honey tasting was so much fun, and soooo educational too. We all brought dishes to the potluck that celebrated honey too – it was so just so much fun.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Easy Whole-Wheat Pita BreadMy Profile

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